"When Invisible Children Sing" by Dr. Chi Huang A Response - by Deanna Neustaedter
As I read Dr. Chi's book, When Invisible Children Sing, I was reminded vividly of my experiences in Botswana. When the children reminded Dr. Chi over and over again that all they wanted from him was for him to walk with them, to listen, to be there for them, it was an echo of what the children, youth and adults I've worked with have said to me. In our humanness, we want to fix the problems presented to us: Mercede's emotional damage that led her to cut herself; Gabriel's memories that led him to sniff paint thinner; Rosa's life situation that led her to be born to a family that lived on the streets for three generations.
BOOK REVIEW: By Dr. John Mavroides, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN--ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY AND MODERN PHYSICS by Archbishop Lazar Puhalo (Synaxis Press)
this very clear and well-referenced book, Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, a
hesychastic theologian, uses the historical approach to contrast the
theology of the Orthodox Christian Church to that of the Western
Christian Churches. In addition to presenting a lucid and accurate
exposition, without any phyletic distortions of traditional Orthodox
theology, the theology of the Apostles, the Patristic Fathers and the
later Church Fathers, as one would expect of a hesychastic monk, this
gifted theologian is also comfortable with the rather difficult field
of quantum physics.
I am an optimistic theoretical determinist. I also encourage freedom of conscience on a pragmatic level. While avoiding the all too ubiquitous and gratuitous theological discussion surrounding election and free-will, I nevertheless contend that the distinction between determinism and freedom of conscience presents a false dichotomy; the latter is merely a practical extension of the former. This is precisely why I can be both at once. I do not find either Calvinist claims regarding election to be persuasive, nor do I feel the utility or even existence of free-will, as it is commonly understood, to be valid. Mine is not a theological concern, per se, however; it is rather a philosophical matter or an evaluation of reality itself.
Our contemporary social context is one in which many religions mix and intermingle. A casual walk down a street in a large or growing city reveals to the interested a synagogue, church, mosque, gudwara, temple and many other sacred sites. The choices can be bewildering, but there is no doubt there are plenty of choices for those on the spiritual path.
We have, gratefully so, left behind a rather stunted period in western intellectual history in which a one-dimensional and single vision form of science excluded, in the guise of objectivity and empiricism, the important reality and role of spirituality and religion. Science is now much more open to the larger religious questions, and, in many ways, the secular wing of the Enlightenment has been replaced, as a cultural model, by the humanist branch of the Enlightenment. This means that mysticism and religion are now seen as valid and vital ways of knowing and being human, but no religious tradition has the final and ultimate word. In short, all the grand metanarratives and truth telling visions of the world religions have been relativized. The new liberal Orthodoxy is Enlightenment humanism with its commitment to religious pluralism and, often, some form of religious syncretism.
Recently it came to my attention that the local homeless population here in Abbotsford has seriously exploded. A friend of mine works quite closely with the homeless via his work at the Salvation Army, and he mentioned to me that they were going to be significantly short of blankets this winter.
"Well!" I thought to myself, "I'll see if some of the folks at my church can bring some blankets one Sunday, and we can give a whack of blankets away to some people who need'em."
Now, as a matter of fact, the morally practical reason utters within us its
irrevocable veto: There shall be no war. So there ought to be no war, neither
between me and you in the condition of nature, nor between us as members of
states which, although internally in a condition of law, are still externally
in their relation to each other in a condition of lawlessness; for this is
not the way by which any one should prosecute his right. Hence the question
no longer is as to whether perpetual peace is a real thing or not a real
thing, or as to whether we may not be deceiving ourselves when we adopt
the former alternative, but we must act on the supposition of its
being real. We must work for what may perhaps not be realized, and
establish that constitution which yet seems best adapted to bring it
about (mayhap republicanism in all states, together and separately).
And thus we may put an end to the evil of wars, which have been the chief
interest of the internal arrangements of all the states without exception.
And although the realization of this purpose may always remain but a pious
wish, yet we do certainly not deceive ourselves in adopting the maxim of
action that will guide us in working incessantly for it; for it is a duty to